Lany'tjung story no. 1
top: A Yirritja Ngärra ceremony was held near Caledon Bay. Three brothers and their two sisters were dancing when they called out the sacred name for fire. A fire, already burning, grew. One of the sisters tried to stop the fire but it spread. A vertical diamond pattern depicting wood divides the panel into two parts. The Yirritja diamond-patterned cross-hatching on the left represents the fire - black being ashes and red the glow of the fire. Dots in the horizontal bands at the top represent sparks while those in the lower bands represent flames. On the right are depicted the bones and ashes of the people burnt. One of the sisters is shown in a sacred shade surrounded by smoke.
upper: The diamond pattern between the fire and the bandicoot is Muŋgurrawuy's Dreaming.
lower: The ancestral Bandicoot is seen surrounded by grass and entering a hollow log to save itself from the fire. The dots are the bandicoot's footprints.
bottom: The division between these panels represents the bank of a billabong and the watermark. Baru the crocodile is depicted in a billabong, the area of cross-hatching surrounding the crocodile is its nest, and the remaining cross-hatching represents räkay (eleocharis dulci), a highly nutritious species of lily. Dots represent bubbles from the crocodile as it dives under water.
© Information provided by the artist
Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2000
Lany'tjung story, myth no 1 Laindjung stroy, myth no 1
natural pigments on bark
153.7 x 38.1 cm
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Gift of Dr Stuart Scougall 1959
Not on display
© Estate of Munggurrawuy Yunupingu, courtesy Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre
Where the work was made
Shown in 5 exhibitions
Australian Aboriginal art: bark paintings, carved figures, sacred and secular objects: an exhibition arranged by the State art galleries of Australia, 1960-1961:
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 17 Aug 1960–18 Sep 1960
- Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane Oct 1960–Oct 1960
- National Gallery of Victoria [Swanston Street], Melbourne Nov 1960–Dec 1960
- Western Australian Art Gallery, Perth Feb 1961–Mar 1961
- National Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide Apr 1961–Apr 1961
- Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart May 1961–Jun 1961
Gamarada, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 15 Nov 1996–16 Feb 1997
Australian icons: twenty artists from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 04 Aug 2000–03 Dec 2000
One sun, one moon, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 03 Jul 2007–02 Dec 2007
The Dreamers (2009-10), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 09 May 2009–15 Aug 2010
Referenced in 3 publications
Peter Gotting, The Sydney Morning Herald, 'To great and absent friends', pg. 14, Sydney, 01 Aug 2000, 14 (illus.). see Curator's worksheet for copy
Frederick D. McCarthy, Australian Aboriginal art: bark paintings, carved figures, sacred and secular objects: an exhibition arranged by the State art galleries of Australia, 1960-1961, 'Introduction', pg. 7-17, Sydney, 1960, 28. cat.no. 72
Howard Morphy, One sun one moon: Aboriginal art in Australia, ‘Making the familiar unfamiliar: The aesthetics of Eastern Arnhem Land art’, pg. 73-77, Sydney, 2007, 77 (colour illus.).